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BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics to Announce Third Quarter Financial Results and Provide a Comprehensive Corporate Update – Yahoo Finance

By daniellenierenberg

NEW YORK, Nov. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCLI), a leading developer of adult stem cell therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, today announced that the Company will hold a conference call to update shareholders on financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2019, and provide a corporate update, at 8:00 a.m., Eastern Standard Time, on Thursday, November 14, 2019.

BrainStorms President & CEO, Chaim Lebovits, will present a corporate update, after which, participant questions will be answered. Joining Mr. Lebovits to answer investment community questions will be Ralph Kern, MD, MHSc, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Medical Officer, and Preetam Shah, PhD, Chief Financial Officer.

Participants are encouraged to submit their questions prior to the call by sending them to: q@brainstorm-cell.com; Questions should be submitted by 5:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Tuesday, November 12.

The investment community may participate in the conference call by dialing the following numbers:

Those interested in listening to the conference call live via the internet may do so by visiting the Investors & Media page of BrainStorms website at http://www.ir.brainstorm-cell.com and clicking on the conference call link.

A webcast replay of the conference call will be available for 30 days on the Investors & Media page of BrainStorms website:

About NurOwnNurOwn (autologous MSC-NTF) cells represent a promising investigational therapeutic approach to targeting disease pathways important in neurodegenerative disorders. MSC-NTF cells are produced from autologous, bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that have been expanded and differentiated ex vivo. MSCs are converted into MSC-NTF cells by growing them under patented conditions that induce the cells to secrete high levels of neurotrophic factors. Autologous MSC-NTF cells can effectively deliver multiple NTFs and immunomodulatory cytokines directly to the site of damage to elicit a desired biological effect and ultimately slow or stabilize disease progression. BrainStorm has fully enrolled a Phase 3 pivotal trial of autologous MSC-NTF cells for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). BrainStorm also recently received U.S. FDA acceptance to initiate a Phase 2 open-label multicenter trial in progressive MS and enrollment began in March 2019.

About BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. is a leading developer of innovative autologous adult stem cell therapeutics for debilitating neurodegenerative diseases. The Company holds the rights to clinical development and commercialization of the NurOwn technology platform used to produce autologous MSC-NTF cells through an exclusive, worldwide licensing agreement. Autologous MSC-NTF cells have received Orphan Drug status designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in ALS. BrainStorm has fully enrolled a Phase 3 pivotal trial in ALS (NCT03280056), investigating repeat-administration of autologous MSC-NTF cells at six U.S. sites supported by a grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM CLIN2-0989). The pivotal study is intended to support a filing for U.S. FDA approval of autologous MSC-NTF cells in ALS. BrainStorm also recently received U.S. FDA clearance to initiate a Phase 2 open-label multicenter trial in progressive Multiple Sclerosis. The Phase 2 study of autologous MSC-NTF cells in patients with progressive MS (NCT03799718) started enrollment in March 2019. For more information, visit the company's website at http://www.brainstorm-cell.com

Safe-Harbor Statement

Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information, including statements regarding future clinical trial enrollment and data, constitute "forward-looking statements" and involve risks and uncertainties that could causeBrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.'sactual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. Terms and phrases such as "may", "should", "would", "could", "will", "expect", "likely", "believe", "plan", "estimate", "predict", "potential", and similar terms and phrases are intended to identify these forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, BrainStorms need to raise additional capital, BrainStorms ability to continue as a going concern, regulatory approval of BrainStorms NurOwn treatment candidate, the success of BrainStorms product development programs and research, regulatory and personnel issues, development of a global market for our services, the ability to secure and maintain research institutions to conduct our clinical trials, the ability to generate significant revenue, the ability of BrainStorms NurOwn treatment candidate to achieve broad acceptance as a treatment option for ALS or other neurodegenerative diseases, BrainStorms ability to manufacture and commercialize the NurOwn treatment candidate, obtaining patents that provide meaningful protection, competition and market developments, BrainStorms ability to protect our intellectual property from infringement by third parties, heath reform legislation, demand for our services, currency exchange rates and product liability claims and litigation,; and other factors detailed in BrainStorm's annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q available athttp://www.sec.gov. These factors should be considered carefully, and readers should not place undue reliance on BrainStorm's forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based on the beliefs, expectations and opinions of management as of the date of this press release. We do not assume any obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results or assumptions if circumstances or management's beliefs, expectations or opinions should change, unless otherwise required by law. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements.

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19-28z CAR-T Therapy in Children and Young Adults With Relapsed/Refractory ALL: Promising Early Results – Cancer Therapy Advisor

By daniellenierenberg

According to results of a study published in Blood, children and young adults with relapsed/refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who had minimal residual disease (MRD) prior to treatment and received high-dose preconditioning chemotherapy were most likely to respond to a second-generation CD-19 chimeric antigen receptor-T cell (CAR-T) therapy.1

Although it has been estimated that 90% or more of pediatric patients witha diagnosis of ALL will respond to multi-agent chemotherapy, the prognosis forthose with relapsed/refractory disease remains poor. One CD19-directed CAR-Ttherapy, tisagenlecleucel, is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration inpatients up to age 25 years with B-cell precursor ALL who either have refractorydisease or have experienced a second or later relapse.2

This open label, nonrandomized, phase 1 study (Clinical Trial Identifier: NCT01860937), evaluated the toxicity, feasibility, and response of 19-28z CAR-T therapy, a second-generation CD19-directed CAR-T therapy involving T cells expressing a chimeric receptor composed of an anti-CD19 antibody binding site and intracellular domains from the T-cell coactivating receptors, CD28 and the CD3-zeta chain3 in children and young adults up to 25 years of age with very high-risk ALL.1 Inclusion criteria included at least 2 relapses, early bone marrow relapse following complete response (CR), intermediate/late CR with poor response to re-induction therapy, or those with refractory disease, or ineligibility for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) or additional chemotherapy.1

The age range of the 25 patients treated with 19-28z CAR-T therapy onstudy was 1 to 22.5 years, with a median age of 13.5 years. Preconditioningchemotherapy involved high-dose cyclophosphamide (15 patients) and low-dosecyclophosphamide (8 patients), with 3 patients in each subgroup also receivingfludarabine.1

Regarding the feasibility of this approach, the prespecified CAR-Tcell dose was achieved for all patients for whom the 19-28z CAR-T therapyprocedure was undertaken.1

With respect to treatment toxicity,approximately one-third of patients experienced a grade 3/4 adverse event,including cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and neurotoxicity in 16% and 28% ofpatients, respectively. With the exception of 1 patient with grade 4 CRS andneurotoxicity who died following refractory Stenotrophomonas septic shock,these adverse events were reversible.1

Of the 24 patients includedin the response analysis, 75% achieved either a CR or a CR with incompletecount recovery (CRi). In the subsets of patients receiving preconditioningchemotherapy with either high- or low-dose cyclophosphamide, the CR/CRi rateswere 94% and 38%, respectively. Furthermore, treatment response was influencedby disease burden as evidenced by the considerably higher CR/CRi rate inpatients with baseline minimal residual disease (ie, less than 5% bone marrowblasts; 93%) compared with morphological evidence of disease at baseline (5% orhigher bone marrow blasts; 50%).1

The CR/CRi rate for thesubset of patients with pretreatment MRD treated with high-dose cytarabine was100%.1

Consolidation allo-HSCT was performed in 83% (15) of the patientsresponding to CAR-T therapy, with a median time from CAR-T infusion toallo-HSCT of 57 days. At a median follow-up of 28.6 months for respondingpatients, over half of these patients (8) were alive and had no evidence ofdisease.1

In their concluding remarks, the study authorscommented that thisanalysis has allowed us to determine the toxicity profile, confirm feasibility,evaluate response of this approach, and provide a direct comparison of the sameCD19-specific CAR T cell product that was previously published[3] inadult patients for the same indication.

The authors went on to highlight the findingof a reversible toxicity profile in the patients within their study as well asthe impact of preconditioning chemotherapy dose intensity and minimal pretreatmentdisease burden on response.

They further noted that within this cohort,the long-term persistence of response is encouraging, and in our primarilytransplant-naive patient population, the ability to proceed to allo-HSCT hasdemonstrated a favorable overall survival, manageable toxicity, and limitedincidence of relapse.

References

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How Stem Cells Can Heal The Body – Version Weekly

By daniellenierenberg

Stem cells from the patients body when isolated and administered at an appropriate time and at the right place, with the right dose, is expected to help the patient in various ways

Stem Cells In The Body

All humans are born and develop from a small tiny structure called an egg. The cells in the egg have a tremendous potential to develop, multiply and form different cells that are functional in the body. These cells are called mother cells or in scientific terms, they are called stem cells. And all human beings have these stem cells preserved in the body. It is these cells that help us in every day wear and tear and also for tissue repair.

The Body Can Heal Itself

Most of the cells in our body have a definite lifespan that need to be replaced by new cells. The stem cell reserves in the body make up for this and it is done without our knowledge! In fact, any cut or injury, external or internal is healed by the bodys innate mechanism. Our intelligent body recognises the signal of injury and recruits the required stem cells. These stem cells transform themselves into the cells that are required for the repair of the injury and it is always many types of cells in various permutations and combinations.

Where Stem Cells Reside

Bone marrow can be considered as the manufacturing unit of stem cells as it is continuously making blood cells and keeps our circulatory system working perfect all the time. Circulating blood is another source of stem cells, because it works as a courier, carrying cells and other essential enzymes, hormones from one organ to the other in the body. The body converts all the extra material into fat which gets accumulated around the belly. This fatty tissue works like a fixed deposit of stem cells.

Stem cells either from the donor (allogenic) or from the patient (autologous) are being used for more than 50 years and especially for treatment. Blood cancers and other blood-related diseases can be cured using a perfect matched donor stem cells obtained from bone marrow. Patients suffering from organ cancers like breast cancer etc. are given autologous stem cells as a supportive treatment along with chemotherapy and/or radiation.

Protocols for these treatments are standardised globally and considered as standard-of-care. In recent years, umbilical cord blood derived stem cells are being used as an alternative to bone marrow, especially in the paediatric age group. People fall victim to numerous degenerative diseases which occur, as the repairing stem cell system from the body fails slowly with age. Stem cells from the patients body when isolated and administered at an appropriate time and at the right place, with the right dose, is expected to help the patient in various ways. It may also replace, rejuvenate or restore the damaged tissues.

Our body carnes its own repairing kit in the form of stem cells and the body tries its level best to make use of these stem cells to ward off diseases. However, it is possible that with age, the bodys power to recruit and make use of the stem cells diminishes slowly. This is when dreadful degenerative diseases like diabetes, arthritis, Parkinsons disease and heart problems, set in. Heres what the clinical applications of regenerative medicine have found novel mechanisms of:

It is increasingly observed that this kind of autologous therapy takes care of the root cause of disease and offers benefits to patients to whom there is no further solution in other modalities of treatment.

Since each tissue and organ of our body is made up of cells that are derived from the egg cell, any disease which is due to derangement or degeneration of cells can be cured using autologous cellular therapy. And though the list can be endless, here are some examples where there have been very promising results:

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Interview With Chaim Lebovits, CEO Of Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics – Seeking Alpha

By daniellenierenberg

This level of disease stabilization has not been observed to this date in approved or investigational ALS therapies.

-Mr Chaim Lebovits, CEO, Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics

In May of this year, I published an article on Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics (BCLI). This small company is developing a Mesenchymal stem cell product called NurOwn, which is in late phase 3 trials targeting Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease. My article was bearish, deploring not only the company's cash position, but also phase 2 trial data. The article can be read here.

That article received a lot of critical comments from the ALS community. That made me realize that a fair overview of the issues could be best addressed by going through the comments, as well as my own coverage, and by asking BCLI management, specifically its CEO, Chaim Lebovits, to clarify some of these issues. So that's what I did. I emailed a set of 11 questions to Mr Lebovits, and he was kind enough to respond to them in great detail. The entire interview, sans any edits, is available to Total Pharma Tracker members.

Mr Lebovits has been with BCLI for well over 12 years, joining in 2007 as president and also becoming the CEO in 2015. He has helped develop NurOwn through its preclinical stage to its current stage, and is therefore just the right person to talk to if we want to understand NurOwn and BCLI.

I began by asking him to locate NurOwn in the ALS therapy space and where it stands with respect to competitors. What's its mechanism of action, and how does that MOA distinguish it from competition?

Mr Lebovits said that there are "currently 4 products active in phase 3 ALS clinical trials (Brainstorm (NurOwn, autologous MSC-NTF cells secreting neurotrophic factors), Orion (levosimendan, muscle troponin calcium sensitizer), Orphazyme (arimochlomol, heat shock protein enhancer), and Biogen (SOD1, antisense oligonucleotide)." Top line data from these ALS phase 3 trials is expected in 2020 (Q4 2020 for Brainstorm) and Orion, 2021 (Orphazyme), and 2022 (Biogen). He discussed a number of earlier stage compounds, as well as various stem cell therapies. He said that what distinguishes NurOwn among ALS therapies is that it "confers both neuroprotection and immunomodulation by delivering neuronal survival factors and immune regulatory molecules, including microRNA directly to the CNS compartment at or near the site of disease, and therefore directly addresses two important ALS disease mechanisms."

Among stem cell therapies, Mr Lebovits said that NurOwn distinguishes itself by being autologous and because it can produce high levels of neurotrophic factors. Moreover, unlike most stem cell competitors, it's delivered directly into the spinal fluid through bimonthly lumber punctures, unlike others which need an invasive surgical procedure "that carries considerable morbidity."

This feature it shares with a competing product from Corestem. However, it's differentiated from Corestem because "NurOwn is more convenient than the Corestem product as a single bone marrow cell harvest due to validated cryopreservation, whereas the Corestem product requires repeat bone-marrow aspiration for each treatment."

My next question was a technical question about pharmacoresistance. I wanted to know how NurOwn is managing to cross the blood-spinal cord barrier despite the strong pharmacoresistance (body's resistance to drugs) seen in ALS, specifically for disease-modifying neurotrophic factors. What was it about NurOwn's delivery mechanism that the company thinks is overcoming this natural resistance. So I asked: "Talking about MOA, pharmacoresistance is a disease driving mechanism in ALS. Can you discuss NurOwns delivery mechanism vis-a-vis the inability of neurotrophic factors to effectively cross the blood-brain barrier, or, specifically, the blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB)? Please correlate that discussion regarding the observed increase in CSF NTFs post treatment as seen in the phase 2 trial."

Mr Lebovits explained this with great clarity - for his entire response, take a look at the complete interview. Broadly, what he said was that NurOwn, being delivered through lumber puncture directly into the spinal fluid, has an advantage. Moreover, the cells secrete neuronal survival factors as well as molecules that regulate the immune system, so that they are able to survive and overcome the pharmacoresistance. Systemically administered NTFs are unable to do that.

As he said, "In the phase 2 trial, CSF biomarkers obtained just prior to treatment and two weeks afterwards demonstrated that MSC-NTF cell secreted neurotrophic factors were significantly increased post treatment and correlated with the reduction in inflammatory biomarkers, consistent with the proposed mechanism of action."

My third and fourth questions related to aspects of the phase 2 study. One, comparison of safety and efficacy data with competitors, and two, the relevance of the reported Caspace-3 reduction of 60% in responders versus 30% in non-responders.

Mr Lebovits said that although the phase 2 study was not powered for efficacy, it exhibited a "level of disease stabilization (that) has not been observed to this date in approved or investigational ALS therapies." About the ongoing phase 3 study, he said the following:

Those who read my original article will recall I was particularly puzzled by the increased occurrence of serious adverse events in active-treatment groups than in placebo groups. 8/36 or 22.2% patients in the treatment arm had an SAE compared to only one out of 12 placebo patients, or 8.3%. Most SAEs were related to the progression of the underlying ALS, most commonly dysphagia. No SAEs were related to study treatment. So I asked Mr Lebovits how this data could be interpreted in the most positive way.

According to him, this decline was not an effect of treatment itself and simply indicated the need for repeat dosing in this patient group. His exact response was as follows:

The MSC-NTF treated group had a slightly more rapid rate of decline compared to the placebo group in the three-month run-in period and most ALS disease progression in the treated group was seen toward the end of the clinical trial, long after a single transplantation. In fact, the bulbar subscale, that includes assessment of swallowing, was the subscale most improved after MSC-NTF treatment in rapid progressors, suggesting that the late decline in motor function was not an adverse effect of treatment per se. Hence the need for repeated dosing.

Last week, the DSMB recommended continuation of the phase 3 trial without any modification. This was major good news, so we asked him about this. Mr Lebovits said that this was a second interim safety review, and there was no significant safety concerns. Therefore, the DSMB recommended no modification in protocol, and no other interim analysis is planned. Phase 3 data will be available by mid-2020 according to this interviewer's reading of the press release.

Now we moved on to another critical aspect of our analysis - funds, or rather, the lack of it. Since this is an important issue, here's the exact exchange we had.

Dr. Ashok Dutta: How does the company plan to fund its operations through the next couple years until the lead development candidate is approved and commercialized? Given the weak financial position, does Brainstorm see the possibility for ATM operations, or thinks about selling rights in regions like China, Japan or Europe to increase the financial condition?

CEO Chaim Lebovits: As you are aware we do receive proceeds from the hospital exemption pathway and also receive grant funding from CIRM and IIA. These avenues have allowed to fund and continue with our trials over the years with non-dilutive financing. From a business standpoint as our ALS phase 3 trial is now fully enrolled, the management team continues to hold high level conversation with some of the leading global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. We are actively engaged in strategic partnering and collaboration discussions and although we cannot disclose the details of our conversations due to NDAs we signed with them... we are exploring several opportunities with key interested parties to advance the opportunities for NurOwn development and commercialization. As you have rightly pointed out, we have a $20mm ATM facility in place with Raymond James. We may activate the ATM as required and raise up to $20mm by selling our stock at the market only if the prices are attractive to us. So far as of end of Q319, we have not activated the ATM. If the need arises and the prices are attractive to us, we may employ this tool to raise capital.

This is reassuring that the company intends to focus on non-dilutive financing. The ATM facility, coupled with the grants, should ideally see them through the approval phase. We still wonder how they will manage marketing and sales. Perhaps those commercialization NDAs they have signed will help.

Next, we discussed market potential and a question about a recent patent grant. The CEO's detailed responses can be found in the complete interview material.

The strong involvement of the ALS community impressed us previously, so we now asked the CEO about the recent roundtable convention they had with ALS advocacy groups. Since this will be important for the ALS community as a whole, here's Mr Lebovits' entire response on the question:

Finally, we asked him what we ask everyone: Give us three simple and straightforward reasons why investors would be interested. Here's what he said:

Thanks to the ALS community for inspiring us to conduct this interview, and to Mr Chaim Lebovits, CEO of Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics, for answering our questions.

Thanks for reading. At the Total Pharma Tracker, we interview management of important small biotech doing disruptive work in healthcare. Our members are given exclusive access to these interviews, which helps them with additional primary resource in doing DD on their investments. Sometimes, extracts from these interviews may be published for everyone; but TPT members always get the exclusive view.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: General Disclaimer - This is to confirm that Avisol Capital Partners has neither requested, nor been offered, any monetary compensation for conducting this interview, by any party other than Seeking Alpha.

Also to be noted, this was an emailed questionnaire, and certain editorial material is present in this version, which may or may not reflect BCLI or its CEO's position on the issues discussed.

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Growing Human Organs In A Lab: As Scientists Develop Pathbreaking Three-Organ System, Heres All You Need To Know – Swarajya

By daniellenierenberg

In September end, a good news greeted the biomedical world when a team led by Takanori Takebe at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center succeeded at growing a connected set of three organs: the liver, pancreas and biliary ducts, in the lab, from human stem cells. The findings were published in journal Nature.

While human organoids already provide a sophisticated tool for research, the connected set of three organs, for the first time, allow scientists to study how human tissues work in concert. This was dubbed as a significant step forward.

In October, another news came. At the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, researchers said that brain cell clusters prepared in the lab- a type of organoid- show abnormal behaviour as compared to the normal brain cells.

They said that the cells in these clumps had ambiguous identities and made more stress molecules than cells taken directly from human brains. However, these abnormalities were found to be alleviated a little bit when the implanted into a more hospitable environment - a mouses brain.

What are organoids?

With the available technology, scientists can grow a group of cells in laboratories into three-dimensional, miniature structures that mimic the cell arrangement of a fully-grown organ.

This is done using stem cells.

Stem cells are special human cells that have the ability to develop into many different cell types, from muscle cells to brain cells.

The embryonic stem cells that are derived from unused embryos (These are created from an in vitro fertilization procedure and used for scientific research) are pluripotent, meaning, they can turn into any type of cell.

On the other hand are adult stem cells. They are derived from fully developed tissues, like the brain, skin, and bone marrow. These cells often have capability of turning into only certain types of cells. For example, a stem cell derived from the liver will only generate more liver cells.

However, the adult stem cells can be manipualted in the laboratory to act like embryonic stem cells. These are called induced pluripotent stem cells. (The technique was developed in 2006). However, scientists are yet to find adult pluripotent stem cells that can develop every kind of cell and tissue.

When scientists create right environment in the laboratory for them, these stem cells follow their own genetic instructions to develop into tiny structures that resemble miniature organs composed of many cell types.

Using these, researchers have been able to produce organoids that resemble the brain, kidney, lung, intestine, stomach, and liver etc.

For example, in the three-organ research mentioned above, Dr Takebe started with stem cells from human skin cells and then guiding and prodding those stem cells to form two very early-stage "spheroids" of cells loosely termed the foregut and the midgut (In human embryos, these form late in the first month of gestation. Over time, they merge and morph into the organs that constitute the digestive tract).

The spheroids were first placed next to each other in a lab dish suspended in a gel used to support organoid growth, then placed on top of a thin membrane that covered a carefully mixed batch of growth medium.

From this point on, the cells knew what to do, and 70 days later, the mini organoids began processing bile acids as if they were digesting and filtering food.

Why are organoids important?

The technique to develop organoids was named by The Scientist as one of the biggest scientific advancements of 2013.

Organoids are an excellent tools to study biological processes like uptake of nutrients, drug transport, secretion of hormones and enzymes etc. This way, diseases related to malabsorption of nutrients, and metabolism-related diseases like obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance can be studied at the cellular-level.

Recently, scientists at the at Memorial Sloan Kettering created a tumor organoid to develop a more accurate rectal cancer model.

In the case of the human brain, organoids opens a window to understand some of the most complicated and hidden aspects of our own biology. They can be used to study neuropsychiatric or neurodevelopmental diseases like schizophrenia or autism spectrum disorder, which are uniquely human diseases that affect the whole human genome.

Organoids also provide a window into how cells interact with each other and their environment. They can be used to create cellular models of human disease, which can be studied in the laboratory to better understand the causes of disease and identify possible treatments. The effects of different drugs and be tested.

Scientists have even used gene editing techniques (CRISPR-Cas9) on the stem cells to to introduce targeted mutations in genes corresponding to two different kidney diseases. When these modified pluripotent cells grew into human kidney organoids, they exhibited the diseases.

Using such organoids relieves the scientific community from experimenting on human and animal subjects. Also, certain treatments that would be unethical to administer on the latter, can be tested on the organoids.

With organoids, researchers can produce a limitless supply of tissue from each patient. This will also be extremely useful for the study of rare diseases, where the number of patients on which to conduct research and test treatments is limited.

Organoids are also being used to develop personalised and precision medicine.

For example, it was found that repairing the CFTR protein could give relief to a patient suffering from non-cystic fibrosis, an inherited disease caused due to a gene mutation. Using the Intestinal organoids grown from a patients stem cells, the doctors could quantify the patients response to the CFTR modulating therapy.

Organoids can have significant therapeutic applications. For example, pluripotent stem cells derived from a diabetes patient could be transformed into insulin-producing beta-like cells.

Organoids also offer an incredible opportunity to study developmental biology. Using them, for example, we can learn more about how organs are formed in embryonic stages and associated disorders.

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Imago BioSciences Further Expands Executive Team with Appointment of James D. Watson as Chief Business Officer – Yahoo Finance

By daniellenierenberg

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Imago BioSciences, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing innovative treatments for malignant and life-threatening diseases of the bone marrow, today announced the appointment of James D. Watson as Chief Business Officer.

James has a long history of success in biotech financing, business development, and commercial planning. That experience will guide the strategic direction and growth of Imago, said Hugh Young Rienhoff, Jr., M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Imago BioSciences. His experience in corporate development and financings will help ensure the advancement of bomedemstat (IMG-7289) through clinical development in myelofibrosis and other indications.

Mr. Watson most recently served as Chief Business Officer at Sigilon Therapeutics where he closed a $473 million strategic partnership with Eli Lilly for a treatment for Type 1 diabetes. Prior to Sigilon, Mr. Watson was Chief Business Officer for Alvine Pharmaceuticals and led strategy, corporate development, new product planning, and finance during which he closed a transaction giving AbbVie the right to acquire Alvine for $345 million. Previously, Mr. Watson was CEO of a San Francisco-based, boutique investment bank focused on mergers, acquisitions, partnering, and raising capital for life science companies.

I am excited to join Imago BioSciences at this important stage of growth, helping the company realize its full potential. Bomedemstat has great promise for the day-to-day management of myelofibrosis and it offers the additional possibility of altering the course of this disease. Furthermore, its broader myeloproliferative neoplasm platform and expertise in life-threatening diseases of the bone marrow represent an opportunity to address areas of high unmet clinical need and to build a valuable company. said Mr. Watson.

About Bomedemstat (IMG-7289)

Bomedemstat is a small molecule discovered by Imago BioSciences that inhibits lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1 or KDM1A), an enzyme essential for production and normal function of megakaryocytes and for self-renewal of malignant hematopoietic stem or progenitor cells. Megakaryocytes are the primary producer of growth factors and cytokines that drive myelofibrosis pathogenesis.

In non-clinical studies, bomedemstat demonstrated robust in vivo efficacy as a single agent and in combination with other therapeutics across a range of myeloid malignancy models including the myeloproliferative neoplasms encompassing myelofibrosis, essential thrombocythemia and polycythemia vera. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track designation to bomedemstat for the treatment of myelofibrosis which is currently being studied in an international Phase 2b study. Additional clinical studies in hematologic disorders will begin in 2020.

About Imago BioSciences

Imago BioSciences is a clinical-stage, private therapeutics company focused on malignant and life-threatening diseases of the bone marrow. The initial clinical focus is on myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) disorders including myelofibrosis, essential thrombocythemia and polycythemia vera. Investors in Imago include a fund managed by Blackstone Life Sciences, Frazier Healthcare Partners, Omega Funds, Amgen Ventures, MRL Ventures Fund, HighLight Capital, Pharmaron, Greenspring Associates and Xeraya Capital.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20191104005265/en/

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I lost my fianc to leukaemia, but in my dreams hes just working the night shift – Telegraph.co.uk

By daniellenierenberg

The proposal was nothing fancy. Shawn Russell arrived at the pub, placed a pint on the table in front of Sarah Hodgetts and asked her to marry him.

It was out of the blue, with no ring, nothing. And I thought: Yeah, thats a really good idea, we should just get married, says Sarah. Id been in love with him for ages.

Their story began seven years earlier, in 2009, also in a pub in north London. He was sitting in his flat cap, good Yorkshireman that he was, and was reading the sports pages. I had just got off the Tube after work. From my perspective, it was love at first sight, says Sarah.

But dating wasnt easy. Shawn, a boarding school-educated boy from an Army family, who had lost his mother to leukaemia when he was two, worked as a picture editor at The Telegraph. Although Sarah was down the road in Westminster, where she worked as a civil servant (and still does), their hours were long and their schedules largely incompatible. They managed just six months initially.

It was a disaster trying to date, so we ended up with a firework display of an argument and decided there was no way we could, says Sarah over coffee near her office.

Their split didnt last, however; they had far too much in common. Besides his ridiculous sense of humour, Shawn was so into news and politics, and I worked in politics, so we couldnt not communicate. We realised we were incredibly good friends, says Sarah. Plus, she adds with a smile, he was a very attractive, 6ft 4in blue-eyed man who I was completely smitten with.

Over time, they got back together in a non-committal way, sharing weekends when their busy lives permitted. It was during this period, three-and-a-half years ago, that Shawn, then 44, proposed. The following week, he moved in with Sarah, then 41, and her son Eddy, 10, from a previous relationship, in Kings Cross, and, like all newly engaged couples, they started making plans for their future. A pair of recovering workaholics, they were going to transform their lives.

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Three UCLA scientists receive grants totaling more than $18 million – Newswise

By daniellenierenberg

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Newswise Three researchers at theEli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLAhave received awards totaling more than $18 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the states stem cell agency.

The recipients are Dr. Sophie Deng, professor of ophthalmology at the UCLA Stein Eye Institute;Yvonne Chen, a UCLA associate professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics; and Dr. Caroline Kuo, a UCLA assistant clinical professor of pediatrics. The awards were announced at a CIRM meeting today.

Dengs four-year, $10.3 million award will fund a clinical trial for a blinding eye condition called limbal stem cell deficiency. Limbal stem cells are specialized stem cells in eye tissue that help maintain the health of the cornea. Because of genetic defects or injuries caused by infections, burns, surgeries or other factors, some people do not have enough limbal stem cells, which results in pain, corneal scarring and blindness.

The approach she is testing involves extracting a small number of limbal stem cells from a persons eye, multiplying them in a lab, and then transplanting them back into the eye, where they could regenerate the cornea and restore vision. The research will be conducted in collaboration with theUCLAUCI Alpha Stem Cell Clinic, a partnership between UCLA and UC Irvine.

The grants awarded to Chen and Kuo are for projects that are heading toward the FDAs investigational new drug application process, which is required by the agency before a phase 1 clinical trial the stage of testing that focuses on a treatments safety.

Chens two-year, $3.2 million award will fund efforts to create a more effectiveCAR T cell therapyfor multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that affects white blood cells. The research will evaluate a specialized form of CAR T therapy that simultaneously targets two markers, BCMA and CS1, commonly found on multiple myeloma cells. CAR T therapies that target BCMA alone have been effective in clinical trials, but the presence of BCMA on multiple myeloma cells is not uniform.

Previous research has shown that the marker CS1 is present in around 90% of multiple myeloma cells. A CAR T therapy that targets both markers could potentially help more patients and reduce the likelihood of a cancer relapse.

Kuos 2 1/2-year, $4.9 million award, will support the development of a stem cell gene therapy for a deadly immunodeficiency called X-linked hyper IgM syndrome, or XHIM.

The syndrome, which is caused by a mutation in the CD40LG gene, results in invasive infections of the liver, gastrointestinal tract and lungs. Currently, the only potential cure is a bone marrow transplant from a matched donor, which carries life-threatening risks and is often less effective for XHIM patients than patients with other forms of immune deficiency. Even with current treatments, only 30% of people with the syndrome live to age 30.

Kuo will evaluate a stem cell gene therapy that corrects the genetic mutation that causes XHIM. After removing blood-forming stem cells from a person with the syndrome, the therapy would use a genetic engineering technique called CRISPR to insert a correct copy of the affected gene into the DNA of the stem cells. The corrected blood-forming stem cells would be infused back into the patient, where they could regenerate a healthy immune system.

She will collaborate with Dr. Donald Kohn, a UCLA distinguished professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics who has successfully treated two other immune deficiencies bubble baby disease and X-linked chronic granulomatous disease with a similar therapy.

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Ezer Mizion’s Evening of Heroes is November 9 in Teaneck – The Jewish Standard

By daniellenierenberg

Ezer Mizion, the worlds largest Jewish bone marrow registry, will host its Evening of Heroes for the Teaneck, Bergenfield, and New Milford communities on Saturday, November 9, at Congregation Keter Torah in Teaneck.

The evening begins with a musical Havdalah and mini-concert by the chasidic superstar Shulem Lemmer, the first chasidic singer to sign with Universal Records. Then Ezer Mizion will introduce IDF heroes who defend the State of Israel and have saved lives with their stem cells.

A stem cell recipient will recount the day he received a call letting him know that Ezer Mizion had identified a stem cell match for him a match that saved his life. Bret Stephens, a New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, and Nachum Segal will give a fireside chat about innovations from Israel, including the export of more than 60 percent of Ezer Mizions stem cell transplants.

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There will be a swabbing station for people who meet the basic criteria for donations. Israeli wines and shuk foods will be served.

The program aims to bring awareness of the organizations role in saving hundreds of lives around the world every year with its growing bone marrow registry. It has more than 1 million potential stem cell donors, and more than 550,000 of these donors are from the IDF. There is no cost to attend the adults-only evening; RSVPs are requested. For more information, go to eveningofheroes.com; email Ezer Mizions national director of development, Ryan Hyman, at ryan@ezermizionusa.org or call him at (718) 853-8400, ext. 109.

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BioLineRx to Present Two Posters at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) 2019 – P&T Community

By daniellenierenberg

TEL AVIV, Israel, Oct. 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- BioLineRx Ltd. (NASDAQ: BLRX) (TASE: BLRX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology, announced today that it will deliver the following poster presentations at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer(SITC) 34th Annual Meeting to take place November 6-10, 2019 at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland:

About BL-8040

BL-8040 is a short synthetic peptide that functions as a high-affinity best-in-class antagonist for CXCR4, a chemokine receptor over-expressed in many human cancers, where it has been shown to be correlated with poor prognosis, and plays a key role in tumor growth, invasion, angiogenesis, metastasis and therapeutic resistance. CXCR4 is also directly involved in the homing and retention of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and various hematological malignant cells in the bone marrow.

In a number of clinical and pre-clinical studies, BL-8040 has shown a critical role in immune cell trafficking, tumor infiltration by immune effector T cells and reduction in immunosuppressive cells within the tumor niche, turning "cold" tumors, such as pancreatic cancer, into "hot" tumors (i.e., sensitizing them to immune check point inhibitors). BL-8040-mediated inhibition of the CXCR4-CXCL12 (SDF-1) axis has also shown robust mobilization of HSCs for transplantation in hematological malignancies.

BL-8040 was licensed by BioLineRx from Biokine Therapeutics and was previously developed under the name BKT-140.

About BioLineRx

BioLineRx is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on multiple oncology indications. The Company'slead program, BL-8040, is a cancer therapy platform currently being evaluated in a Phase 2a study in pancreatic cancer in combination with KEYTRUDA and chemotherapy under a collaboration agreement with MSD. BL-8040 is also being evaluated in a Phase 2b study in consolidation AML and a Phase 3 study in stem cell mobilization for autologous bone-marrow transplantation. In addition, the Company has an ongoing collaboration agreement with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, evaluating BL-8040 in combination with Genentech's atezolizumab in two Phase 1b/2 solid tumor studies.

BioLineRx is developing a second oncology program, AGI-134, an immunotherapy treatment for multiple solid tumors that is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1/2a study.

For additional information on BioLineRx, please visit the Company's website at http://www.biolinerx.com, where you can review the Company's SEC filings, press releases, announcements and events. BioLineRx industry updates are also regularly updated on Facebook,Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Various statements in this release concerning BioLineRx's future expectations constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include words such as "may," "expects," "anticipates," "believes," and "intends," and describe opinions about future events. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of BioLineRx to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Some of these risks are: changes in relationships with collaborators; the impact of competitive products and technological changes; risks relating to the development of new products; and the ability to implement technological improvements. These and other factors are more fully discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of BioLineRx's most recent annual report on Form 20-F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 28, 2019. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent BioLineRx's views only as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. BioLineRx does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements unless required by law.

Contact:Tim McCarthyLifeSci Advisors, LLC+1-212-915-2564tim@lifesciadvisors.com

or

Tsipi HaitovskyPublic Relations+972-52-598-9892tsipihai5@gmail.com

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SOURCE BioLineRx Ltd.

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SCD, HIV Gene Therapy Efforts Get $200M from NIH, Gates Foundation – Sickle Cell Anemia News

By daniellenierenberg

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will each invest $100 million over the next four years to speed the development of affordable gene therapies for sickle cell disease (SCD) and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) on a global scale.

This unprecedented collaboration focuses from the get-go on access, scalability and affordability of advanced gene-based strategies for sickle cell disease and HIV to make sure everybody, everywhere has the opportunity to be cured, not just those in high-income countries, said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD.

Seventy-five percent of babies born with SCD live in sub-Saharan Africa. It is hoped that experimental gene therapies would advance to clinical trials in the United States and relevant African countries within the next seven to 10 years, and that safe, effective, and inexpensive gene therapies be made available globally, including in low-resource settings where the cost and complexity of these therapies make them inaccessible to many.

In recent years, gene-based treatments have been groundbreaking for rare genetic disorders and infectious diseases, Trevor Mundel, MD, PhD, president of the global health program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said in a news release.

While these treatments are exciting, people in low- and middle-income countries do not have access to these breakthroughs. By working with the NIH and scientists across Africa, we aim to ensure these approaches will improve the lives of those most in need and bring the incredible promise of gene-based treatments to the world of public health, he added.

Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that binds oxygen, allowing oxygen to be transported around the body. Mutations in the HBBgene, which encodes a component of hemoglobin, result in the formation of sickle hemoglobin that causes sickle cell anemia.

Currently, gene therapies for SCD involves altering the patients own hematopoietic stem cells (bone marrow cells that divide and specialize to produce blood cells including red blood cells). Genes are introduced into the cells using a modified, harmless virus (known as a viral vector). The cells are then transplanted back into the patient where they will produce healthy red blood cells. Gene therapy has an advantage over a bone marrow transplant, as it circumvents the complications associated with a bone marrow donation.

The first goal of the collaboration between the NIH and the Gates Foundation is to develop an easy-to-administer gene-based intervention to correct the mutations in the HBBgene or deliver a functional gene that will promote the production of normal levels of hemoglobin without the need to extract cells from patients and modify them in the lab before introducing the cells back. However, this strategy, known as in vivotreatment, requires the advancement of more efficient delivery systems that can deliver the gene therapy specifically to hematopoietic stem cells.

A second goal of the collaboration will be to work together with African partners and bring potential therapies to clinical trials.

Further research is required to understand the burden of SCD in sub-Saharan Africa and to screen newborns at high risk for the disease, a task that the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has started to tackle by building the necessary infrastructure for clinical research.

The NIH and the Gates Foundation will help boost this infrastructure to allow point-of-care screening (for example, when infants receive vaccinations), and to initiate a standard of care. This will occur outside of the official collaboration.

Our excitement around this partnership rests not only in its ability to leverage the expertise in two organizations to reduce childhood mortality rates in low-resource countries, but to bring curative therapies for sickle cell disease and HIV to communities that have been severely burdened by these diseases for generations, said Gary H. Gibbons, MD, director of the NHLBI.

A persons health should not be limited by their geographic location, whether rural America or sub-Saharan Africa; harnessing the power of science is needed to transcend borders to improve health for all, he added.

Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti, the regional director for Africa at the World Health Organization said, We are losing too much of Africas future to sickle cell disease and HIV.

Beating these diseases will take new thinking and long-term commitment. Im very pleased to see the innovative collaboration announced today, which has a chance to help tackle two of Africas greatest public health challenges, Moeti added.

Patricia holds her Ph.D. in Cell Biology from University Nova de Lisboa, and has served as an author on several research projects and fellowships, as well as major grant applications for European Agencies. She also served as a PhD student research assistant in the Laboratory of Doctor David A. Fidock, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Columbia University, New York.

Total Posts: 94

Margarida graduated with a BS in Health Sciences from the University of Lisbon and a MSc in Biotechnology from Instituto Superior Tcnico (IST-UL). She worked as a molecular biologist research associate at a Cambridge UK-based biotech company that discovers and develops therapeutic, fully human monoclonal antibodies.

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Cell Isolation Market ||Becton, Dickinson, and Company, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., Merck KGaA – Industry News Info

By daniellenierenberg

Zion Market Research published a new 110+ pages industry researchCell Isolation Market by Product (Instruments and Consumables), by Cell Type (Animal and Human), by Cell Source (Adipose Tissue, Embryonic/Cord Blood Stem Cells, and Bone Marrow), by Technique (Surface Marker-Based Cell Isolation, Centrifugation-Based Cell Isolation, and Filtration-Based Cell Isolation), by Application (Cancer Research, Biomolecule Isolation, Tissue Regeneration & Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cell Research, In Vitro Diagnostics, and Others), and By End-User (Hospitals & Diagnostic Laboratories, Research Laboratories & Institutes, Biotechnology & Biopharmaceutical Companies, and Others): Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis, and Forecast, 20182025.

TheGlobal Cell Isolation Market Is Expected To Reach Around USD 15.16 Billion By 2025complete outline is crystal clear penned down in the GlobalCell Isolation Marketresearch report such that not only an unskilled individual but also a professional can easily extrapolate the entire Cell Isolation Market within a few seconds.The research study covers research data which makes the document a handy resource for managers, analysts, industry experts, and other key people get ready-to-access and self-analyzed study along with TOC, graphs and tables to help understand the market size, share, trends, growth drivers and market opportunities and challenges.

Download FREE PDF Sample Brochure for more Industry Insights @CLICK HERE NOW

The Cell Isolation Market research report covers major industry player profiles that include:

Becton, Dickinson, and Company, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., Merck KGaA, Beckman Coulter Inc., Terumo BCT, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.

This report employs the SWOT analysis technique for the assessment of the development of the most remarkable market players. It additionally considers the latest upgrades while assessing the development of leading market players. Moreover, in the global Cell Isolation Market report, the key product categories of the global Cell Isolation Market are included. The report similarly demonstrates supportive data related to the dominant players in the market, for instance, product offerings, revenue, segmentation, and business synopsis. The global Cell Isolation Market is as well analyzed on the basis of numerous regions.

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Global Cell Isolation Market: Regional Analysis

To understand the competitive landscape in the market, an analysis of Porters five forces model for the market has also been included. The study encompasses a market attractiveness analysis, wherein all segments are benchmarked based on their market size, growth rate, and general attractiveness. This report is prepared using data sourced from in-house databases, secondary and primary research team of industry experts.

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The report answers important questions that companies may have when operating in the Global Cell Isolation Market. Some of the questions are given below:

What is the current CAGR of the Global Cell Isolation Market?

Which product is expected to show the highest market growth?

Which application is projected to gain a lions share of the Global Cell Isolation Market?

Which region is foretold to create the most number of opportunities in the Global Cell Isolation Market?

Will there be any changes in market competition during the forecast period?

Which are the top players currently operating in the global market?

How will the market situation change in the coming years?

What are the common business tactics adopted by players?

What is the growth outlook of the Global Cell Isolation Market?

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Cell Harvesting Market Global Strategies and Insight driven transformation 2019-2024 – The Chicago Sentinel

By daniellenierenberg

Cell Harvesting MarketReport has newly added to its massive repository. Different industry-specific methods have been used for analyzing the market carefully. The informative data has been inspected through primary and secondary research techniques. The global Cell Harvesting market has been analyzed by focusing on different verticals of the businesses such as market trends, regional outlook, competitive landscape, key players, business approaches, technologies, and standard operating procedures.An exclusiveCell Harvesting Marketresearch report contains a brief on those trends which may enable the companies operating into know to strategize and the current sector to their small enterprise expansion. The investigation report analyses the market size, industry share, growth, key sections, CAGR, and drivers.

Top Companies in the GlobalCell HarvestingMarket:PerkinElmer (US), Brandel (US), TOMTEC (US), Pall Corporation (Danaher), Connectorate (Switzerland), Scinomix (US), ADSTEC (Japan), Sartorius, Terumo Corporation.

Cell harvesting usually for use in cancer or other treatment. Usually the cells are removed from the patients own bone marrow. Stem cells can be harvested from the blood or bone marrow. Umbilical cords have been saved as a future source of stem cells for the baby.

https://www.marketinsightsreports.com/reports/05161234118/global-cell-harvesting-market-size-status-and-forecast-2019-2025/inquiry?mode=46

The market engineering comprises the structured, systematic and theoretically founded procedure of analyzing, designing, introducing and also quality assuring of markets as well as their legal framework regarding simultaneously their market mechanisms and trading rules, systems, platforms and media, and their business models.

This report segments the globalCell HarvestingMarket on the basis ofTypesare:ManualAutomated

On The basis OfApplication,the GlobalCell HarvestingMarket is Segmented into:BiopharmaceuticalStem Cell Research

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Geographically, this report is segmented into several key Regions, with production, consumption, revenue (million USD), and market share and growth rate ofCell HarvestingMarketthese regions, from 2018 to 2025 (forecast), covering

North America,Europe,China,Japan, Southeast Asia, India, North America(USA, Canada and Mexico)Europe(Germany, France, UK, Russia and Italy)Asia-Pacific(China, Japan, Korea, India and Southeast

-Comprehensive assessment of all opportunities and risk in the market. Cell Harvesting market recent innovations and major events.-Detailed study of business strategies for growth of the market-leading players.-Conclusive study about the growth plot of Cell Harvesting market for forthcoming years.-In-depth understanding of market-particular drivers, constraints and major micro markets.-Favourable impression inside vital technological and market latest trends striking the market.

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MarketInsightsReportsprovides syndicated market research on industry verticals including Healthcare, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Technology and Media, Chemicals, Materials, Energy, Heavy Industry, etc.MarketInsightsReportsprovides global and regional market intelligence coverage, a 360-degree market view which includes statistical forecasts, competitive landscape, detailed segmentation, key trends, and strategic recommendations.

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Docs said our toddler was just clingy but we learned the truth on Google it was cancer – The Sun

By daniellenierenberg

WHEN Laura Farmer-Maia's daughter suddenly became clingy and unhappy, she initially brushed it off as nothing but "a phase".

And given little Beatriz was just three-years-old, the last thing to cross her mind was cancer.

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Yet, months after doctors repeatedly dismissed the symptoms as clinginess, the diagnosis was confirmed - Beatriz had an aggressive childhood cancer known as a neuroblastoma.

The horrifying news came after Beatriz's father Tiago Maia refused to leave the hospital after discovering the potential diagnosis himself on Google.

Shocked, Laura, 39, and Tiago, 40, are now urging all parents to be vigilant and check their kids for signs of the disease.

The mum, who works in advertising, first suspected something was wrong last July, when Beatriz's behaviour dramatically changed.

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She said: "Before she was diagnosed, Beatriz was quite naughty but when she reached two, she suddenly became clingy and picky with her food, and had a fever all the time.

"We took her to the GP who believed it was a virus and after recurrent visits they gave her some antibiotics to cover for a potential bacterial cause, which didnt have any effect.

"Beatriz started to complain that her legs hurt so we took her to A&E, where they did some more tests and still said it might be a virus.

"Its hard to get a diagnosis right when a child is too young to explain how theyre feeling, but in the back of our minds we knew it was something bad.

"We want to spread awareness of the difficulty of diagnosing cancer in young children - if your child doesnt seem right, you should push for further tests."

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Tiago pushed the GP for more tests, and blood tests showed something was wrong, so Beatriz was sent urgently to hospital.

It was there medics finally discovered a lump above her kidney and diagnosed her with neuroblastoma in September last year.

The cancer is aggressive and has a 40 per cent chance of long-term survival.

Everything moved so quickly and we all felt frightened as they carried out the tests

Tiago, originally from Portugal, added: "At the hospital, they twice said it was likely to be a virus and I refused to leave until I saw a specialist.

"I waited for three hours until a more senior doctor was free, and then Beatriz was examined by different specialists who admitted her to do all kinds of tests and observations including X-rays and ultrasounds - it was the last one that confirmed there was a lump.

"When my fears from Google turned out to be true, it was very strange because even though my life had just flipped upside down, I was almost relieved to be right - it was weird and confusing."

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Beatriz was referred straight to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where they carried out further tests including scans, blood tests and biopsies.

She began chemotherapy just a week after being diagnosed and underwent eight gruelling rounds of chemo over the next 18 months.

Doctors then carried out a stem cell transplant to regenerate bone marrow destroyed by high dose chemo, which meant Beatriz couldnt leave the hospital for eight weeks.

Tiago, a design director, said: "I was quite scared when Beatriz was diagnosed because my mum and dad had only recently died from cancer I thought of the worst.

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"Everything moved so quickly and we all felt frightened as they carried out the tests.

"Doctors found that the cancer had spread across her body, so she began chemotherapy just weeks after being diagnosed.

"We were told the treatment would last 18 months which was a massive shock to us.

"A week after Beatriz started chemotherapy she massively improved, but it was tricky being in hospital at first.

"Now, she still has periods of discomfort but sometimes shes happy to be in hospital because she has toys and people to come and play with her."

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Laura added: "The stem cell transplant was a hard time for us all because we had to spend a lot of time apart from our other daughter, Clara, six.

"Beatriz was diagnosed in Claras first week of school and it was difficult because that was supposed to be an exciting time for her."

After more scans and hopes of an all-clear, doctors found more metastatic growths still remaining in Beatrizs head, which meant that the cancer hadnt fully cleared up and she had relapsed.

The brave youngster is now undergoing immunotherapy and is due to start a six month medical trial on the NHS at Great Ormond Street Hospital, called the Beacon Trial.

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What is neuroblastoma?

Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer that most commonly afflicts babies and young children.

The disease develops from special nerve cells, known as neuroblasts, which get left behind from the child's development in the womb.

It mostly begins in the sufferer's adrenal glands located above the kidneys but can occur in the nerve tissue that runs along the spinal cord in the neck, chest, abdomen or pelvis.

The vicious illness can then spread to other organs like the bone, bone marrow, lymph nodes and skin.

Neuroblastoma afflicts around 100 children a year in the UK but the cause of the disease is still not known.

Its symptoms can include:

It is uncertain whether the trial will work and, even if Beatriz goes into remission, relapse rates are high but her parents are determined to do everything they can to stop the cancer from returning.

Laura and Tiago are now trying to raise 200,000 to help get their daughter into remission or to keep the cancer away if her treatment goes well.

The money is hoped to go towards further treatment, or if Beatriz gets the all-clear, a special vaccine in New York which helps keep the disease away.

Laura said: "After the stem cell transplant, the end was almost in sight but then she relapsed.

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"Were afraid that the cancer will get worse and worse and want to raise money to help get her into remission the ideal outcome is that the trial works and clears the disease.

"Luckily, compared to other two-year-olds, Beatriz has suffered less side effects with treatment and despite losing her curly hair shes powering through."

You can donate on Beatriz's JustGiving page here.

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Docs said our toddler was just clingy but we learned the truth on Google it was cancer - The Sun

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Stem cell registry gets good response – The New Indian Express

By daniellenierenberg

By Express News Service

KOCHI:Though the impending examinations, the study leave and the hartal called by the merchants association played spoilsport, nearly 525 youngsters came forward to register themselves as stem cell donors on Tuesday at a camp set up by Smilemakers of Cusat and DATRI of St Teresas College. The organisers were expecting around 1,000 registrations.

Next, we will be holding a camp at Lulu Mall on November 14, said Ramiz Rehman of Smilemakers. Not only students but also teachers and people from outside the campus came in to register. However, one big impediment is the lack of awareness about the stem cell donation process, he said.According to him, there is a common notion that bone marrow aspiration needs to be done to extract stem cells. But this is not the case. The stem cells are extracted from the blood. There is no drilling of bones happens, said Ramiz. According to him, stem cell transfusion is the only treatment that can save the lives of those suffering from leukaemia and thalassemia.

The programme has been organised for the benefit of not only the three siblings diagnosed with thalassemia major hailing from Mattancherry, but for the thousands of patients who have registered with DATRI. Since the possibility of obtaining a match is one in 20 lakh, there is a need to have a lot of people registering as fast as possible, he said. Speaking after inaugurating the registry drive, Poornima Jayaram, actor, said: Everyone will come as one to register themselves if they put themselves in the shoes of the recipient.

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Stem cell therapy approved for MS patients in Scotland – HeraldScotland

By daniellenierenberg

MULTIPLE sclerosis campaigners have hailed a huge step forward for patients in Scotland after a stem cell therapy was recommended for use on the NHS for the first time.

Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has been described as a game-changer for MS after an international clinical trial showed that it could reboot patients immune systems and halt the progress of the disease.

Some patients who had been in wheelchairs prior to treatment said their condition improved so dramatically it was like they had never been diagnosed with MS.

READ MORE: Scots MS patients 'missing out' on pioneering stem cell treatment available in England

The Scottish Health Technologies Group (SHTG) said there is now sufficient evidence for it to recommend making HSCT available on the NHS in Scotland to MS patients who have the relapsing-remitting form of the disease, and who were not responding to drug treatments.

Iain Robertson, chairman of the SHTG, said: Our committee members were able to advise that this treatment should be considered for those with this particular type of MS who have not responded to treatment with disease-modifying therapies.

We hope that our advice will be of use in helping decide the best course of treatment for these patients.

The SHTG also stressed that patients must be made aware of the demands, risks and uncertainties of the treatment, which uses chemotherapy to wipe out patients' 'faulty' immune systems before replenishing it with a transplant of stem cells harvested from their own bone marrow.

It puts patients at high risk from infections, which can be fatal, but the theory is that the treatment works by enabling patients to 'reset' their immune system to stop it attacking the central nervous system as is the case in MS.

READ MORE: Anger of Scots MS patients travelling abroad for stem cell therapy available to some on NHS England

HSCT is not considered an effective treatment for patients with the progressive form of MS, however, as stem cells cannot regrow nerves or repair damaged myelin - the protective sheath which coats nerves.

It will also be unavailable to patients with relapsing-remitting MS who no longer show signs of inflammation on an MRI brain scan.

Scotland has one of the highest rates of MS in the world, but until now Scottish patients seeking HSCT have had to travel overseas to Mexico, Russia and Israel and bankroll their own private treatment at a cost of around 40-60,000.

It has also been available privately in London since 2017, but with a 100,000 price tag.

A small number of MS patients in England have been able to access the treatment on the NHS, however, because there are clinical trials into HSCT taking place at NHS hospitals in Sheffield and London.

Morna Simpkins, director of MS Society Scotland, said: The decision from SHTG to approve HSCT for the treatment of MS is good news and could help in the development of a clear pathway, for people who could potentially benefit, to access it.

We will push to ensure that this decision leads to real change for people with MS by continuing to engage with other groups to offer the treatments, including HSCT, which are right for them.

READ MORE: Stem cells help mother with MS make 'remarkable' recovery

The SHTG said eligible patients must have equal access to the procedures regardless of where they live, but it is unlikely all health boards will be able to provide it.

The MS Society wants a centre, or centres, of excellence set up where patients from across Scotland can be referred.

Lucy Clarke from the Scottish HSCT Network said the recommendation was "a huge step forward" for people in Scotland living with MS.

Ms Clarke underwent HSCT in Russia and credits it with substantially reversing her disability.

She added: This important decision supports HSCT as a treatment option where other treatments have failed. We will continue to push so that this treatment is available to people in Scotland who need it.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: We are grateful to the Scottish Health Technologies Group for this important work.

"NHS Boards are expected to consider their advice on technologies in the planning and provision of its services and clinicians are expected to follow their professional judgement, working within the management structure of their Board.

We will work closely with MS Society Scotland, other third sector bodies and the clinical community to consider what the Technologies Groups findings means for provision in Scotland, including the information that needs to be available to people about eligibility and risks.

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Chimerix to Announce Third Quarter 2019 Financial Results and Provide an Operational Update on November 5, 2019 – Yahoo Finance

By daniellenierenberg

DURHAM, N.C., Oct. 29, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Chimerix, Inc. (CMRX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on accelerating the development of innovative medicines to treat patients with cancer and other serious diseases, today announced that it will host a live conference call and audio webcast on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. ET to report financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2019, and to provide an operational update.

To access the live conference call, please dial (877) 354-4056 (domestic) or (678) 809-1043 (international) at least five minutes prior to the start time, and refer to conference ID 1693898. A live audio webcast of the call will also be available on the Investors section of the Company's website, http://www.chimerix.com. An archived webcast will be available on the Chimerix website approximately two hours after the event.

AboutChimerix

Chimerixis a development-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to accelerating the advancement of innovative medicines that make a meaningful impact in the lives of patients living with cancer and other serious diseases. The two clinical-stage development programs are dociparstat sodium (DSTAT) and brincidofovir (BCV).

Dociparstat sodium is a glycosaminoglycan biologic derived from porcine heparin that has low anticoagulant activity but retains the ability to inhibit activities of several key proteins implicated in the retention and viability of AML blasts and leukemic stem cells in the bone marrow during chemotherapy (e.g., CXCL12, selectins, HMGB1). Mobilization of AML blasts and leukemic stem cells from the bone marrow has been associated with enhanced chemosensitivity and may be a primary mechanism accounting for the observed increases in EFS and OS in Phase 2 with DSTAT versus placebo. Randomized Phase 2 data suggests that DSTAT may also accelerate platelet recovery post chemotherapy via inhibition of platelet factor 4, a negative regulator of platelet production that impairs platelet recovery following chemotherapy. BCV is a lipid conjugate DNA polymerase inhibitor in development as a medical countermeasure for smallpox.For further information, please visit the Chimerix website,www.chimerix.com

CONTACT:

Investor Relations:Michelle LaSpaluto919-972-7115ir@chimerix.com

Will OConnorStern Investor Relations212-362-1200will@sternir.com

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Viewpoint: Netflix’s new horror movie ‘Eli’ is a fright. But why did they have to ‘tarnish gene therapy’? – Genetic Literacy Project

By daniellenierenberg

The new horror flick on Netflix, Eli, released just in time for Halloween, borrows from The Exorcist and Rosemarys Baby, with touches of The Shining. And it all takes place in what looks like Downton Abbey with the cleaning staff gone.

Eli works; its scary. But the set-up using gene therapy gone awry is unfortunate, superfluous, and even offensive. (Beware, spoilers ahead)

The film opens with 11-year-old Eli dreaming about being able to go outside without his hazmat suit and breathing without his skin reddening and blistering. He awakens and hes inside, in a bubble.

David was diagnosed, four years earlier, with a rare formof severe combined immune deficiency (SCID). It slashes his ability to make the antibodies that protect against infection, unleashes inflammation that reddens his skin, while at the same time turns his immune system against his own tissues, an autoimmune response.

The parents, caring Rose and weirdo Paul, bundle Eli up to take him to a doctor whos going to cure him with a new treatment. Once at the supposedly clean Downton Abbey haunted house, Eli has a decontamination shower.

When the boy meets the doc, she explains that his immune system makes too many bad immunoglobulins, using that word instead of antibodies because it sounds more technical.Eli quickly responds, spouting out that he has mutations in the RAG1 and RAG2 genes (recombination-activating genes).

Elis body cant make the enzymes that mix and match antibody parts, and the proportions of a bunch of immune system cells and proteins go out of whack. His condition is also called Omenn syndrome.

Dr. Horn has two nurses, and all three of them wear purple uniforms.

Good news! Dr. Horn will administer viral gene therapy! I will make you better, like my other patients, she assures the boy.

Rose gingerly begins to unwrap the blue layers that encase her son, bending down and looking like Laura Dern examining dino poo in Jurassic Park or Princess Leia releasing the hologram from R2D2. Mom and boy can finally hug!!!

At night, the house creaks. Eli wanders the spooky halls, glimpsing kids in the windows, mirrors, and reflections, including ghostly girls who look like the twins at the end of the hallway in The Shining.

A redheaded girl outside, Sadie Sink, apparently escaped from playing Max on Stranger Things, seems real.

Im allergic to the world, Eli tells her. Not exactly.

The next morning, Dr. Horn blames Elis ghost sightings on a side effect from immunosuppressants. Why is she trying to suppress an immune system already so impaired?

Next Eli, who looks so much like Tom Petty that I expected him to shriek I Wont Back Down, is strapped down to a table with a contraption holding his head in place, as Dr. Frankenstein asks her nurses to take a reading.

Dr. Horn at first seems to have gotten the basic idea of gene therapy correct: introducing a working copy of the mutant gene aboard viruses into stem cells from bone marrow. And poof! Like a magic trick! itll work, she proclaims.

She proceeds to extract a hunk of pinkish gunk after drilling into a bone, as the immobilized boy twists and grimaces on the table. Satisfied, the doc plops the glob into a Petri dish.

It burns! Eli shrieks.

That means its working, replies the doc. Within seconds, the doctored viruses have apparently hit their targets.

Then Eli awakens. It all seems a dream, but its foreshadowing.

A ghost appears in a bloody nightgown.

The house breathes at night.

A scrawny, dagger-nailed hand grabs Eli and the apparition turns into his father.

When Eli writes his name on a window, the letters rearrange to spell Lie, like Redrum becoming Murder in the mirror in The Shining. Later on, with the E written like a 3, Eli scratched into various furniture surfaces in the house becomes 317317317. What can it mean?

When Eli reports these events, Dr. Horn barks, Its the medication, as if sophisticated gene therapy has suddenly become as mundane as a tab of Tylenol. Shell have to lower the dosage because the second of the three treatments is coming up.

Treatment 2 is indeed brutal. Eli is held in a contraption like the one Hannibal Lecter wears to keep him from eating people and his head bolted like hes Frankenstein.

Were confident that the gene therapy virus is correcting the mutation, Dr. Horn declares, adding that this will burn a little bit, as she presumably delivers more.

When Eli turns red and screams, she assures him that this is supposed to happen. The virus is penetrating the blood-brain barrier, as if said barrier is a superhighway requiring that the bolts hold his head still.

I was speechless.

Barrier refers to the blood vessels in the brain that are closed to large molecules, which keeps toxins out. A widely-used gene therapy vector, AAV9 (adeno-associated virus 9), has been known for a decade to naturally cross the barrier. And that doesnt require torture hardware.

Heres a photo of one of the kids I write about receiving AAV9 gene therapy for a rare neurological disease through an intravenous delivery in her hand!

The doc then attributes Elis reaction to his body initially rejecting the new cells, like any transplant. But if his gene therapy consists of viruses traipsing across the blood-brain barrier, where did cells suddenly come from? Is it the doctoring of stem cells from bone marrow that was in Elis dream, or delivering viruses into the bloodstream?

Elis nocturnal adventures continue. Hes pushed and pulled from unseen forces as the floor turns transparent, revealing scary medical people. As he keeps bellowing the doc orders Haldol and his mom pushes Valium.

The mysterious 317 opens a key pad to an inner sanctum, which looks like the set of the second Indiana Jones film. We see insects alighting, so the place was never a clean room after all.

Eli finds a notebook with case histories of the past patients and the pieces start to fit. Perry. Agnes. Lucas.

After treatment 2, the kids eyes look haunted, their complexions gray, like Eli. After treatment 3, their heads exploded.

Then the religion clues start to fall out.

Eli discovers a photo of nuns that includes his medical team. A huge iron cross sheaths a dagger. The surgical table with Eli across it resembles Christ on the cross.

One reviewer posits that the plot is about gay conversion, pointing to a scene in which Eli literally crawls out of a closet to tell his parents the truth.

The action speeds up and twists as treatment 3 looms.

Dr. Horn dons religious garb, makes the sign of the cross, flings holy water, and babbles about Jesus and the archangel. The boy, having discovered the medical records, has become a liability.

I thought I could cure Eli. The gene therapy would have worked, if he wasnt so strong. But he cant leave here! the enraged doc yells.

But when Eli is tied down and Dr. Crazy is coming at him with the dagger pulled from the cross, he suddenly summons his inner Regan MacNeil (from The Exorcist) and stops the knife in mid-air, turns it around, and forces the doctor to stab herself. She mutters may you find peace and forgiveness in the name of the Lord, channeling Father Damien KarrasThe power of Christ compels you! as he attempts to exorcise Regan.

With the plunging of the dagger, Eli, red-eyed and screaming, rips off his restraints. His parents are thrown to the floor while the nurses and the doc, somehow still living with the dagger in her chest, try to leave.

But Eli, like Anthony in the cornfield episode of the Twilight Zone, points at them and they turn in unison and then elevate, like Regan rising from her bed. The purple ones then float around the room in an eerie circle emanating an unearthly blue glow, as if theyre on one of those centripetal force amusement park rides.

A conspiracy revealed

It turns out that all are in on whats happening, even the nice-seeming mom. And Eli realizes hes never been sick.

What has she been putting inside me? What have you been putting inside me? he shrieks at his parents, conjuring images of Rosemarysdevil spawn.

At that the nurses and doc suddenly flip upside down, the horror equivalent of Regans rotating head, and slam to the floor.

What am I?

Our son.

Eli sets the nurses and doc on fire.

Are you my dad?

I prayed every day! answers dad.

Prayed to whom? the boy bellows.

The Lord didnt answer me, but your father did, Rose utters mysteriously.

And we know.

Eli never had a SCID. Its a twist on Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, the cause of his symptoms the holy water that mom and then doc sprinkled on him.

But the ultimate cause? Dad is the devil. At that realization, Eli makes his dads head explode.

The other kids, whose bodies indeed turn up, were Elis half-siblings, even Haley. Dad the Devil got around.

Eli is fun, fast and scary. But why did the writers have to tarnish gene therapy? Why use a genetic disease at all? And especially an ultra rare one? I cant help but wonder what motivated the writers to do this.

Ive devoted the past decade to learning about families who have rare genetic diseases and have kids who have had, or wish they could have, gene therapy, writing about them, and accompanying some of them on their journeys.

In addition to my posts here and at my blog DNA Science, I wrote the only book on gene therapy, The Forever Fix, which chronicles the efforts of a few families. The first gene therapy was FDA-approved in late 2017. The technology has indeed been like the mythical phoenix bird, arising from the ashes.

For the families, I resent the use of gene therapy as a plot point.

After viewing the film the other night, I did a final Facebook check. The first thing that popped up: a photo of an exquisite child, on a page for families dealing with Sanfilippo syndrome, a devastating neurological condition.

The boy was now free of the cruel disease, free to be at peace. He was 11. Elis age.

Genetic disease, and especially attempts to treat it, shouldnt be the stuff of horror films.

Ricki Lewis is the GLPs senior contributing writer focusing on gene therapy and gene editing. She has a PhD in genetics and is a genetic counselor, science writer and author of The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It, the only popular book about gene therapy. BIO. Follow her at her website or Twitter @rickilewis

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Gene Therapy – Adrenoleukodystrophy News

By daniellenierenberg

Gene therapy is a promising therapeutic procedure for genetic disorders or diseases in which defective genes are corrected, replaced, or inactivated.

In the case of adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) a genetic disorder caused by mutations in the ABCD1 gene that damages the myelin sheath around nerve cells gene therapy may benefit patients prior to the onset, or during the early stages, of the disease by stopping the progression of demyelination. However, the therapy cannot be beneficial after the disease has worsened significantly.

Gene therapy works by introducing the correct gene sequence into cells. Since genetic material cannot enter the cell on its own, the correct gene sequence needs to be delivered using a vector. This vector can be a modified virus that has been engineered to remove its pathogenic genetic material so that it cannot cause disease, but is still able to transfer the correct gene sequence to the host cell.

The vector can be directly injected into the patients body or into host cells grown in the laboratory and then transplanted back into the patient. Upon successful viral transfer, the host cell should be able to produce the functional protein.

In ALD, the clinician first takes out the patients own stem cells (autologous) and then inserts the correctABCD1 gene sequence into these cells using a viral vector in the laboratory. The corrected stem cells that are able to produce the functional ALD protein are then implanted back into the patients body so they may develop into nerve cells in the brain. Since the patients own cells are being used, there are fewer risks than when donor stem cells are used.

Lenti-D,an investigational gene therapy developed by Bluebird Biois currently being studied in a Phase 2/3 clinical trial (NCT01896102) in the U.S., the U.K., and France. The study aims to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of Lenti-D in boys, up to 17 years old who havecerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (CALD). Based on the preliminary data from this study,the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)designated Lenti-D a breakthrough therapy for the treatment of CALD in May 2018.

A Phase 1/2 clinical trial (NCT02559830) is recruiting patients with ALD at the Shenzhen Second Peoples Hospital in Guangdong, China. The study aims to assess the safety and effectiveness of transplanting patient-derived bone marrow stem cells, which have been genetically-corrected using a lentiviral vector, for the treatment of ALD.

Another Phase 1/2 clinical trial (NCT03727555) at the Shenzhen Geno-Immune Medical Institute also in Guangdong, China is recruiting 10 patients with ALD. The study aims to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a lentiviral vector carrying the healthy ABCD1 gene (TYF-ABCD1) injected directly into the patients brain for the treatment of ALD.

***

Adrenoleukodystrophy News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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zge has a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Developmental Biology from Queen Mary University of London. She worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester for six years in the field of Behavioural Neurology before moving into science communication. She worked as the Research Communication Officer at a London based charity for almost two years.

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Medicare Coverage of CAR-T Cell Therapy Raises New Questions – The Heartland Institute

By daniellenierenberg

Still to be determined is how hospitals and other health care facilities will be reimbursed for the therapy and whether patients will have access to the therapy under health care proposals such as Medicare for All or a so-called public option.

One of the most promising cancer treatments to come along in years, CAR-T cell therapy uses the bodys own immune system to attack and kill cancer cells. The treatment involves bioengineering T cells, a white blood cell that fights foreign substances in the body, and equipping them with new Chimeric Antigen Receptors that target cancer cells.

CAR-T cell therapy has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for children with leukemia and adults with advanced lymphoma. The therapy is typically used alongside other, more traditional treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Its use in combatting other forms of cancer is pending with the FDA, an agency known for its slow approval process.

Hefty Price Tag

There are currently two approved CAR-T treatments: Novartis Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) and Gileads Yescarta (axicabtagene).

Like most newly introduced cutting-edge treatments, the two products come with a hefty price tag. A course of treatment of Kymriah costs $475,000 for pediatric and young adult patients with leukemia, and both are priced at $373,000 to treat lymphoma in adults, according tobiopharma.com. Under Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations published in August, Medicare will reimburse hospitals for 65 percent of the treatments cost, or about $242,000, through Part B.

Although hospitals will likely welcome Medicares financial commitment, there still remains a sizable gap. Further complicating reimbursement is the lack of a separate Medicare billing code for CAR-T treatment, which will be handled via codes for bone marrow and stem cell transplants until a CAR-T billing code is developed, which could take up to three years.

CMS worked closely with the FDA and the National Cancer Institute in developing the new regulations, a time-consuming process rooted in the complexities of developing a reimbursement scheme and overseeing an innovative and evolving therapy.

At a July 31 Heritage Foundation panel discussion on Medicare for All, CMS Administrator Seema Verma discussed the challenges government programs face in approving innovative treatments.

Much of the problem is when Congress says you can cover durable medical treatment, supplies, and drugs, said Verma. Sounded great when they wrote that law 30 to 40 years ago but doesnt make sense in todays environment. All of these new treatments are coming out, and they dont fit nicely into the way the law has been constructed, and it creates problems for the agency.

Bonner R. Cohen,Ph.D.,(bcohen@nationalcenter.org)is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research and a senior policy analyst with the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT).

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